Magics Wendell Carter Jr. established itself as a ‘top-ten center’ – what’s next? – Mercury News

The progress on the field, Orlando Magic, big man Wendell Carter Jr. did in the 2021-22 season, were clear.

Carter averaged several career highs, including points (15), rebounds (10.5) and assists (2.8) and effective field goal percentage (57.6%) – a field-goal percentage formula that adjusts for , that 3-pointers are worth more than 2-points. pointer.

He began to dominate the simple parts of the game as he expanded his skill set at both ends of the floor as the season progressed.

“Wendell has already established himself this season as a top-ten center,” said Jeff Weltman, Magic president of basketball operations, during a recent appearance on FM 96.9 The Game’s Open Mike with Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi. “Wendell’s numbers reflect a huge growth, but his game is not reflected by his numbers.

“This is a guy that everything he does is about winning. Fantastic young guy. His future is completely ahead of him and all he does is lift his teammates up – on the pitch. [and] off the field. “

That’s the off – the – field aspect of the game, Carter believes he has grown the most since Magic traded for him in March 2021.

Although he turned 23 less than two weeks ago, Carter, number 7 in the 2018 draft, was one of the more veteran players to consistently play on a team that ended the season with nine players starting their NBA careers since . 2019.

“Even though I’m one of the younger players in this league where I’m on this team with a lot of younger guys – first – year, second – year players – I’ve just been going through the same things that they’re going through now.” said Carter. “Like just showing them through the ropes a little bit. What to expect, what not to expect. That’s the biggest leap I’ve ever taken. ”

Carter’s leadership looked different depending on the situation.

One day, it wins an auction at the Orlando Magic’s Food and Wine Festival in late March to take its teammates to the Dominican Republic over the summer. Another day is to speak up in the locker room during the break when they are facing a deficit and not playing well.

Because of the team’s youth and chemistry, Carter feels brave to step up as a leader.

“When we were so young, we got that chemistry that just came out of nowhere,” he said. “The next step for us would be to be able to hold each other accountable and be able to respond to it. We will be able to understand that quite easily.”

Carter believes he can be one of the most important guys who can hold others accountable in the future.

“I’ve already taken the first step by being the guy people follow by example,” he said. “The next step I can take is to be the big brother to everyone. I feel pretty comfortable doing it now that we’ve created that relationship between all of us.”

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price on or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.


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